Good journalists and editors can smell when brands are looking for media coverage about how wonderful they are. By contrast, editors and journalists seek pitches that will touch their readers. They want stories about interesting problems. Issues or problems that large groups of people may be facing can make excellent stories. A pitch about one brand’s journey, told in its own words from start to finish, will not.
It’s rare when significant parts of business, government or sports change dramatically. Incremental change is far more common. Yet we find both incremental and significant change in a new Nasdaq Corporate Solutions/ PR News survey of nearly 400 communicators regarding press release distribution and SEO. Nearly 75% of those surveyed last month said the most important objective of sending a press release is to “generate media interest and/or press coverage.” That’s a traditional reasoning. Yet a full 25% said their top priority in sending out a release is “to be seen in web search results” [see infographic and chart on page 4]. That finding about SEO seemed inconsistent with another result: nearly 40% said they fail to consider SEO when it comes to allocating time and resources for press releases. In other words, while PR pros want their press releases to be found in web searches, nearly half are ignoring SEO when they prepare their releases.
One of the most polarizing topics in PR generally and among the measurati in particular is advertising value equivalency, commonly known as AVEs. And yet, notwithstanding the controversy and despite efforts promoting professional standards to the contrary, AVEs remain among the most common form of measurement in PR. Why are they so popular with the masses? And why do so many PR experts hate them? Essentially, advertising equivalency is an easy, accessible way to attribute a dollar value to media coverage by calculating print column inches and TV/radio time factored by the cost of that space and time on an “if-purchased basis.” But does it represent value? And if so, is it the best way to demonstrate PR’s unique contribution to the enterprise? Let’s explore the history of AVEs, detail reasons against their use and shed light on the current state of AVE measurement to provide a balanced view along with a moderate’s advice on a better way forward.
It could describe nearly all the data sets we’ve been looking at recently. The 30 most-engaged U.S. brands on a social media platform turned out a bit less content than they had during a quarter the previous year, yet consumer interaction with the content rose. Once again, consumer engagement with mobile video drove that engagement. Filling in the blanks, this week’s Shareablee data, provided exclusively to PR News, examines consumer actions, or engagement, with U.S. B2B brands on Twitter. Actions are defined as the sum of consumer likes and retweets. Brands listed have significant B2B revenue, although some also have B2C businesses. Specifically in Q1 ’16 (Jan 1-March 31), total consumer actions with U.S. B2B brands on Twitter rose 31% compared to the same quarter in 2015. The increase occurred despite a 3% reduction in the number of tweets the brands produced. An increase in consumer engagement with U.S. B2B brands’ videos, up a gargantuan 240%, and more retweets, a 14% rise, fueled the growth in actions.
Perhaps you’ve sent a pitch to Ms. Senior Editor only to remember that it’s Mr. Senior Editor. Or you’ve invited a reporter to a press conference on Monday the 3rd and received a message back saying, “The 3rd is a Tuesday. What day is your event?” So you know great content doesn’t mean anything if a document is poorly written or contains typos. Focusing on a process for writing can set you up for success. A thorough process means you have time for planning, drafting, reviewing, quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC). Juggling multiple projects and deadlines can make it hard to set aside time for all of these steps, and the planning step often gets sacrificed. Still, taking a few minutes to plan your writing before you begin will make editing much easier.
Nonprofits may have more in common with B2B and B2C brands than one might think. This installment in our series detailing consumer engagement with U.S. brands on social platforms finds patterns similar to those seen earlier when the focus was engagement with B2C and B2B brands on Facebook (PRN, May 30 and June 6). Examination of exclusive data provided to PR News by Shareablee shows the most engaged B2B, B2C and nonprofit brands seem to be emphasizing quality over quantity as the number of posts in Q1 2016 was down compared to Q1 2015. As a result, consumer actions, which is defined as the sum of likes, shares and comments, also fell.
When Volkswagen sputtered in September with dieselgate, we had little trouble finding PR pros to opine about how VW could use the crisis to remake the brand through trust and transparency ( PRN, 9/28/2015). Similarly, trust and transparency were in play during a crisis management competition at PR News’ Digital PR & Marketing Conference on June 8 in Miami Beach. Crisis pros Pia De Lima, VP, corporate communcations, Western Union, and Allison Steinberg, communications strategist, ACLU, formulated a fictitious crisis scenario (below) and judged several teams’ crisis plans. The teams had 30 minutes to concoct their plans in pursuit of a $1,000 prize that PressPage—a sponsor of the conference, along with Business Wire, Cision and LexisNexis—provided.
You have to hand it to Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella. When he goes shopping, he comes heavy. Nadella plunked down $26 billion June 13 to acquire LinkedIn as a way to energize both companies. His hope, of course, is that the deal will be a win-win, with LinkedIn gaining cachet, scale and technology and Microsoft obtaining access to information about the mostly white-collar businesspeople who are LinkedIn’s stock and trade. Arriving at a stagnant Microsoft two years ago, Nadella has been pushing the brand to become friendlier to corporate customers. In this respect, LinkedIn and its 105 million monthly active users seems a good match. In all, LinkedIn claims 433 million members, or 433 million resumes, a juicy target for brand communicators.
Sometimes brands respond to an issue with a statement. Other times a good response is to monitor the situation and work behind the scenes. For most brands, it’s barely noticeable when Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers decides to eschew milk and cheese to gain strength, reduce inflammation in his joints, lose weight and extend his career. If you’re a Packers fan, who affectionately dons a cheese headpiece on fall Sundays, such intolerance for lactose is a concern. Should you happen to be from top U.S. cheese maker Wisconsin, whose license plates declare it the Dairy State, well, the 32-year-old’s oath could be tantamount to an affront to good manners. After all, for years Sargento, the family-owned, Wisconsin-based cheese maker, has been kicking in $1,500 after every Packers touchdown to charities feeding the needy.